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Two Deals Show Increase in E-Commerce M&A

Tuesday, 9 Nov 2010 | 11:12 AM ET

If the overall M&A market remains tepid at best, that's certainly not the case when it comes to e-commerce.

Woman on her laptop in a cafe.
AP
Woman on her laptop in a cafe.

Last week, Oracle spent $1 billion for Arts Technology Group, better known as ATG. Larry Ellison's acquisition machine felt so strongly about the move, Oracle paid a 46 percent premium for ATG , which develops e-commerce software.

This week, it's Huntsman Gay Global Capital, the middle-marget private equity firm, buying ATG competitor iCongo.

Terms of the deal were not released, but sources tell CNBC that in terms of EBITDA, iCongo is about half of ATG.

"Our company is growing at a fairly rapid rate, and we are at an inflection point—profitable, fast-growing in an industry with no dominant player," Kramer said. "With Huntsman Gay, we have the human and financial resources to continue our growth domestically and internationally."

According to sources, the company is poised to double revenues in the near future.

At some point, Kramer says a decision will be made whether to go public, but for now, it's about growth for the company, which specializes in things like real-time inventory, allowing businesses or retailers to easily locate a product in demand and get it to a customer.

It sounds simple, but with various sales avenues—brick and mortar stores, mobile platforms, computers—sometimes a transaction can slip through the technological cracks.

"(With our software), they never lose a sale, basically," Kramer said.

Customers include Lord and Taylor, Cintas , Timberland , and Aldo Shoes.

Of course, any technology that can help raise revenue and reduce costs is in demand, and iCongo had no shortage of suitors.

According to sources, several high-profile private equity firms pitched the company, but CEO Irwin Kramer settled on Huntsman Gay for several reasons, including the fact that the management team will stay in place.

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